Sunday, November 19, 2006

19 Nov 2006


Wow what a week. First and foremost, thank you all for praying for me and my family. I can tell you that I know God is ever present and that you all are praying. This past week started out being a real downer, but turned around very least for me, mentally.

A quick overview:

On Monday / Tuesday 13-14 Nov, I was experiencing fevers and still contending with low platelet's, white & red blood cells and voluntary bloody noses (about 15 - 20 / day). On Tuesday night, my fever peaked to 101.9 just under the 102 (where they would hospitalize me).

Wednesday (15 Nov) - at clinic, they found that I still had a low fever, a rash had returned to approx 75% of my body and I needed blood products (both whole blood and platelets).
  • They identified the rash as the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) that they were hoping to see
  • They finally understood that I really did need HLA matched platelets (we knew this and informed them when we first arrived - only they thought I could use general pooled donor platelets)
  • They put me in the hospital, around 10 AM, where they gave me two units of whole blood and by the next morning had given me four units of platelets (cross matched - a step above general pooled donors, but still not HLA matched).
    • On Wed my platelets were around 2,000 - normal people have between 150,000 - 450,000.
    • They started me on prednisone (a steroid) to help fight the GVHD - none of us wanted it to get worse, beyond the skin rash. I guess it gets very ugly past this point.
    • They had me put two different types of hydrocortisone creams on my body - a light one on my face and a heavy duty one for every thing below the neck - I called on Gene to help me get it on all the rash spots.
    • Late that night my fever broke....Yea - yahoo.

  • Thursday they moved me from the room and floor I was in to another room and floor as they needed the room for a transplant patient. Gene was really upset over this, but surprisingly I was at peace (again the fact that you all were praying for me).
  • My fevers stayed away, but they couldn't identify the cause of the fevers - they thought that the fevers may have been a precursor to GVHD.
    • They confirmed that I would need HLA matched platelets, but that Red Cross wouldn't be able to have them to me until Monday.
    • They would continue to give me the crossed matched platelets until the others come along.

  • Friday - time for them to send me back to the apartment.
    • I have promised both the doctors and Gene to be extremely careful not to bump into anything or play with sharp objects. Gene promised to watch me like a hawk...what a dear.

  • Saturday / Sunday I have gone to clinic both days for transfusions of platelets
    • On Saturday morning my platelet's were 4,000 pre-transfusion
    • 30,000 post transfusion
    • Sunday morning pre-transfusion they were 3,000 I don't know what they were post transfusion.
    • Still struggling with the bloody noses, but this should go away Monday or Tuesday if they can get me HLA matched platelets.

  • Please pray for the following:
    • Praise God for all of you who have sent me e-mails, phone calls, cards and gifts and most of all your prayers - you may ask how I maintain my moral, a great deal of it is because of you.
    • Praise God for all of the people who have been helping our children in our absence - You will never know how much relief from stress just knowing that loving caring people are looking after the needs of our children.
    • Praise God that the GVHD came on as a rash only - I know it can still come on like gang busters in other forms for up to a year from now, but all I can do is know I am in God's hands - thus only the rash.
    • Pray that the the Red Cross up hear finds a donor that is an HLA match.
    • Pray for our Children as they head into one of their busiest weeks - culminating, Saturday, in the dual performance of the NutCracker.
    • Pray for safe travel Sunday, 26 NOV, for our children and the Knaul's as they travel to see us.
    • Praise God for the Knaul family for bring them up here.
    • Pray that this will all work and that when I come home I will be healed for life - if it be God's will.

I really miss, my children, my home, my church (and church family) and desire once more to serve the Lord as a God fearing / loving Mother, Wife and Servant of Christ.
Love in Christ

Cheryl and family

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